1/6/21 | 7PM: According to Larry Brooks of the NY Post, the Rangers have reached out to former Ranger and current UFA Brian Boyle.
Brooks writes that there isn’t anything imminent with Boyle and that the Rangers are taking a “wait-and-see approach” with their young forwards. (NY Post)
He also writes that “several” teams have been in touch with Boyle. (NY Post)
Brooks says that Boyle would fit needs in the faceoff circle, on the fourth line and with team leadership. (NY Post)
Boyle, 36, played 355 regular season and 58 playoff games for the Rangers between 2009 and 2014.
He played in 39 games for Florida last season, averaging 12:23 per game and 52.4% on faceoffs.
Adam Rotter: Brian Boyle makes sense, but he also doesn’t make sense for the Rangers. It’s never a bad thing, especially for young players, to have guys like Boyle around that work hard, and set examples on and off the ice. The Rangers don’t have many of them anymore, or at least ones that have the experience that Henrik Lundqvist, Marc Staal and Jesper Fast had. He could certainly hold down a spot on the fourth line, kill penalties and potentially be someone the Rangers trust with late-game faceoffs. That said, the Rangers are slated to be the youngest team in the league for a reason and they likely want to see Morgan Barron and/or Brett Howden fill that role. Kevin Rooney was signed to be a potential fourth-line center and penalty killer, so he would certainly be in the mix as well.
The Rangers have signed three additional players today:
Anthony Bitetto, 30, played 51 games for Winnipeg this past season, had 8 assists and averaged 15:10 per game.
Bitetto signed a two-year, two-way deal that has a cap hit of $737,500. (Seravalli)
He is 6-1, 210lbs, a left-shot defenseman and has played 183 career games with three teams in six seasons.
From the Rangers release:
He established career-highs in several categories in 2019-20, including games played, assists, points, plus/minus rating, and average ice time (15:10).
Bitetto ranked second on Winnipeg in hits this past season (145), and he led the Jets in hits per game (2.84).
He ranked 23rd in the NHL, as well as fifth among NHL defensemen, (min. 30 games played) in hits per game in 2019-20.
In addition, Bitetto ranked fourth on the Jets (and ranked second among Jets defensemen) in average shorthanded ice time this past season (2:11).
He has recorded 379 hits in his 183 career NHL games. Bitetto has averaged 9.48 hits per 60 minutes of ice time in his NHL career; since the start of the 2014-15 season, he ranks 10th among NHL defensemen (min. 100 games played) in hits per 60 minutes of ice time.
The Island Park, New York native was originally selected by Nashville in the sixth round, 168th overall, of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.
Jeff Gorton said of BItetto, “He’s been a good NHL defenseman, we will get some depth on the left side. Good size, a physical part to his game, competitor, real good guy. He hits a lot of the boxes we want to hit with depth on the left side.” (MSG)
Anthony Greco, 27, has played one career game in the NHL and is from Queens.
He had 11 goals and 13 assists in 47 AHL games across three teams.
From the Rangers release:
Greco is the only player in NHL history whose listed birthplace is Queens, New York. He signed his first NHL contract with the Panthers on November 20, 2017.
The 5-10, 174-pounder has skated in 271 career regular season AHL games over four seasons (2016-17 – 2019-20), registering 86 goals and 76 assists for 162 points, along with 106 penalty minutes. Greco established AHL career-highs in goals (30), assists (29), and points (59) with Springfield in 2018-19, and he also tallied 29 goals in 75 games with Springfield in 2017-18.
He was one of only three AHL players who registered at least 29 goals in both 2017-18 and 2018-19, and his 59 goals over the two seasons were the third-most in the AHL.
Greco led the AHL in shots on goal in both 2017-18 and 2018-19 (252 shots on goal in 2017-18; 267 shots on goal in 2018-19), and he also led the AHL in shorthanded goals in 2017-18 (six).
He has skated in one career Calder Cup Playoff game, making his AHL debut with Bridgeport during the 2016 Calder Cup Playoffs.
Jonny Brodzinski, 27, has played in 57 career NHL games, scoring six goals and six assists and averaging 9:47 per game.
This past season he played in three games for San Jose.
From the Rangers release:
Brodzinski, 27, skated in 44 games with the San Jose Barracuda of the American Hockey League (AHL) this past season, registering 14 goals and 16 assists for 30 points, along with 26 penalty minutes.
He tied for third on the team in goals, tied for fourth on the team in assists and points, and ranked second on the team in shots on goal (136) in 2019-20. Brodzinski also skated in three NHL games with the San Jose Sharks this past season, recording one assist.
The 6-1, 215-pounder has skated in 200 career AHL games over parts of five seasons (2015-16 – 2019-20), registering 70 goals and 68 assists for 138 points, along with a plus-19 rating and 74 penalty minutes.
Brodzinski established AHL career-highs in goals (27), assists (22), points (49), and shots on goal (184) with the Ontario Reign in 2016-17, and he was selected to play in the 2017 AHL All-Star Classic.
He has helped his team advance to the Calder Cup Playoffs three times, and he has registered 10 points (five goals, five assists) and a plus-five rating in 13 career Calder Cup Playoff games.
The Ham Lake, Minnesota native was originally selected by Los Angeles in the fifth round, 148th overall, of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.
Adam Rotter: More depth/AHL signings, making six total today when you include Kevin Rooney, Colin Blackwell and Keith Kinkaid. When you look at the Rangers losing Boo Nieves, Vinni Lettieri, Steven Fogarty, Danny O’Regan, Matt Beleskey, Ryan Gropp and Dawson Leedahl, they needed to beef up the Hartford roster with veterans and proven AHLers who can mentor the prospects and give the Wolf Pack a chance to win.
The Rangers have signed goalie Keith Kinkaid to a two-year deal with a cap hit of $875,000.
Kinkaid, 31, has a 65-56-20 record in the NHL across seven seasons, six with the Devils and last season with Montreal.
In 2017-18 for NJ, Kinkaid was 26-10-3 with a 2.77 GAA and .913 save percentage.
In 2018-19 for NJ, Kinkaid was 15-18-6 with a 3.36 GAA and .891 save percentage.
He played in six games for Montreal last season, five starts, and was 1-1-3 with a 4.24 GAA and .875 save percentage.
Adam Rotter: This is strictly about the expansion draft as every team needs to expose a goalie. Igor Shesterkin is exempt and the Rangers will protect Georgiev, so they needed to sign a goalie. He can also start in Hartford or split time with Adam Huska.
The Rangers have signed center Colin Blackwell to a two-year deal with a cap hit of $725,000.
Blackwell, 27, was the 194th pick by San Jose in 2011.
He has 33 career games, over the past two seasons, with Nashville.
He is 5-9, 190 and last season he had 3 goals and 7 assists in 27 games for Nashville.
Last year he averaged 10:57 per game and was 56% on faceoffs.
The Rangers have signed center Kevin Rooney who has 95 games of NHL experience, all with the Devils.
Larry Brooks says that it’s a two-year deal with a cap hit of $750,000.
Rooney, 27, has 10 goals and 9 assists in his career and is 6-2, 195.
Last season he had 4 goals and 5 assists in 49 games, was 47% on faceoffs and averaged 11:44 per game.
He averaged 2:06 per game on the PK last season.
Adam Rotter: These are depth moves for the Rangers and guys who can battle to fill the spot of Greg McKegg as a 4th liner, 13th forward and penalty killer. Blackwell didn’t kill penalties in his 27 games for the Preds last year but he’s a depth forward and both of them could very well go up and down to Hartford. Both of these guys could also help the Rangers meet requirements for Seattle’s expansion draft.
8/30/20 | Elliotte Friedman writes that Drury was not only a “serious contender” to be the Panthers GM but that he was the front runner and some believed he was going to be offered the job before he withdrew. (Sportsnet)
Adam Rotter: Drury is a huge part of the front office and a big part of the rebuild so this is good news for the Rangers. How long will he remain in his current position or with the Rangers? That remains to be seen. He’s very respected around the league and many expect him to be a GM in the next few years if he wants to pursue it.